'Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky is my Prime Minister'

Haredi MK surprises audience by declaring that 'his' Prime Minister is Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky.

David Rosenberg ,

MK Moshe Gafni meets with Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky
MK Moshe Gafni meets with Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky
Yaacov Cohen/Flash90

MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), the chairman of the Knesset’s powerful Finance Committee, surprised participants in a conference Tuesday by declaring that a senior haredi rabbi, not Binyamin Netanyahu, was ‘his’ prime minister.

The comments were made during a conference on health care and health insurance Tuesday morning, Behadrei Haredim reported.

During his address, Gafni warned that the Israeli government was facing a “large and serious budget deficit” which “needs to be dealt with”.

Gafni added that with Israel stuck with a caretaker government for most of 2019, strategically important issues were not being addressed.

“The state is paralyzed when it comes to critical things – you have no idea how many. I’m not talking about political or security issues, I mean economic matters. What we have to do now is face the deficit.”

Linking the deficit and Israel’s inability to confront major issues on the repeat elections, Gafni made a thinly-veiled attack on Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avidgor Liberman, who earlier this year refused to join a Netanyahu-led coalition government without assurances it would pass its version of a haredi draft bill.

“If it had been me who brought on the elections, then I would be to blame for this,” Gafni said regarding the deficit. “But if it was someone else who brought us to these elections, then he is to blame.”

When one participant in the conference told Gafni that “your prime minister” is to blame, referring to Binyamin Netanyahu, Gafni said that Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky was “his” prime minister.

“No, he [Netanyahu] is your prime minister as well; my prime minister is Rabbi Kanievsky.”